ORANGE

Hospital visiting guidelines updated 20 July 2022: Hospital visitors must wear a surgical/medical paper mask. Fabric face coverings are no longer acceptable. See our COVID-19 pages for detailed information about hospital visiting guidelines, COVID-19 tests and care in the community advice. See www.vaccinatecanterburywestcoast.nz for information about vaccinations.

We are at ORANGE according to the NZ COVID-19 Protection Framework

Last updated:
20 July 2022

Mask exemptions accepted for people seeking treatment
Any member of the public with a mask exemption is welcome in all our facilities when attending to receive health care and *treatment. Please show your mask exemption card and appointment letter to staff at the entrance.

*Treatment includes: coming into the Emergency Department, outpatient appointments,  surgery or a procedure.

For visitors to all facilities effective from Wednesday 20 July 2022

With the recent resurgence in cases in Canterbury, largely due to the Omicron BA.5 subvariant we are seeing an increase in demand right across the health system. Presentations to our Christchurch ED and Ashburton’s AAU are higher than ever and admission rates are high, which means we have a shortage of resourced beds.

Recently, we have seen too many unwell people coming to visit someone in hospital and too many that cannot or will not wear a medical mask. This increases the risk to vulnerable people in hospital. For these reasons we need to everything we can to minimise these risks.

We have therefore tightened visitor restrictions for all Te Whatu Ora Waitaha Canterbury hospitals and health facilities.

Kia whakahaumaru te whānau, me ngā iwi katoa – this is to keep everybody safe:

  • One visitor per patient in the hospital at any given time, except where stated otherwise in the ‘exceptions’ section below.
  • No visitors under 16 to any part of our facilities.
  • No visitors to COVID +ve patients other than in exceptional circumstances.
  • No eating or drinking at the bedside or anywhere other than cafes or areas designated for eating/drinking, as taking your mask off puts patients at risk.
  • Visitors or support people must not visit our facilities if they are unwell with cold or flu-like symptoms (even if they have tested negative) or have had a recent tummy bug.
  • Do not visit if you are COVID +ve or a household contact of someone who has tested positive
  • Surgical/medical masks must be worn at all times at all sites and will be provided if people don’t have them. Mask exemptions do not apply in our facilities – people who cannot tolerate a mask cannot visit at this time.
  • Hand sanitiser stations are visible and must be used.

By sticking to the rules above, you help keep our patients, staff, other visitors and yourself safe. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as our staff work hard to protect and care for some of the most vulnerable in our community.

Exceptions to the ‘one visitor’ policy

  • Exceptions can apply in some circumstances where trusted whānau members provide assistance, reassurance and other support for therapeutic care or on compassionate grounds – please talk to the ward’s Charge Nurse to discuss this before you come to hospital to visit. For whānau with an essential support role as a Partner in Care – again, please check with the ward’s Charge Nurse before you come to hospital to visit.
  • People attending Christchurch ED or Ashburton AAU can have one support person with them.
  • Women in labour and in the birthing suite can have two named support people + their community LMC/midwife if they have one – for the duration of the birth only. All other women on the Maternity Ward are allowed one support person for the duration of their stay in our facilities at Christchurch Women’s Hospital and other maternity units. Only one support person can be with each woman in the maternity ward, and one support person for maternity clinic appointments. No under 16s are allowed to visit or attend appointments.
  • Parents/caregivers can be with their baby in NICU.
  • Parents/caregivers are able to be with their child in hospital (Except Children’s Haematology and Oncology Day patients where only one parent or caregiver is permitted).
  • People requiring support when attending an appointment can have one support person. Please let the relevant service know if you need this so they are able to accommodate your request.

Visiting patients with COVID-19

  • To avoid them becoming infected with COVID-19 and passing it one, visitors to COVID-19 positive patients will not be allowed except in extenuating circumstances – by prior agreement with the Charge Nurse Manager only, and wearing an N95 mask.
  • Other methods of communication will be facilitated e.g. phone, facetime, zoom etc.

You must NOT visit the hospital if you

  • are a household contact of a COVID-19 positive case
  • are COVID-19 positive
  • Have a cold or flu/COVID-19-like symptoms (even if you are testing negative for COVID-19)

Exceptions for people with disabilities

An exception will be made for people with disabilities who are in hospital or have to attend an outpatient appointment – where they need a support person to access health services. For example, a sign language interpreter, support person for someone with a learning disability, or someone to assist with mobility. The support person is in addition to the one permitted visitor.

Everyone visiting our facilities must wear a mask, no exceptions

While we appreciate that some people have legitimate reasons for being exempt from wearing a mask and may even have an official card to confirm this, people who cannot or will not wear a mask cannot visit someone in hospital or attend hospital, other than to access healthcare treatment*. This is another measure to minimise the risk to vulnerable patients.

*healthcare treatment includes: Emergency Department care, outpatient appointments, surgery or a procedure. 

Patients and visitors should also read the additional more detailed visiting guidelines for each specific hospital.

More COVID-19 information

Canterbury wellbeing indicators show continued improvement

Tuesday 20 September 2016Media release4 minutes to read

While life for many in Canterbury is improving, the impacts of the quakes are still being felt as the region's recovery heads into its seventh year.

These are the findings from the latest Canterbury Wellbeing Survey and Canterbury Wellbeing Index. The Survey and Index were established by CERA to help track the progress of the social recovery of Canterbury post-quake. This is the first time they have been released since the Canterbury DHB inherited the monitoring of psychosocial recovery on 1st March 2016.

Canterbury DHB chief executive David Meates, says the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey shows continued improvements in wellbeing across many of the measures.

Eighty-two percent, or four out of five greater Christchurch residents, say their quality of life is good or extremely good, up from 77 percent last year. Another measure of wellbeing, the WHO-5 Wellbeing Index, has also improved significantly since September 2015. “Overall, fewer respondents reported being negatively impacted by the stressors caused by the earthquakes,” he says.

Mr Meates says the positive impact of seeing signs of progress towards a more livable city, and being able to access new and repaired recreational, cultural and leisure time facilities, are at their highest levels since they were first measured. “New spaces like the Margaret Mahy Playground are proving incredibly popular, and providing a real wellbeing boost. Making progress towards a more livable city is having a positive impact for many,” he says.

Although the majority of indicators suggest an improvement in wellbeing, a number of Cantabrians are still struggling with earthquake-related stressors. “The proportion of people experiencing anxiety about ongoing aftershocks was at its highest level since September 2012, doubling from nine percent last year to 18 per cent this year,” he says. “This increase is likely to be explained by the fact that the survey took place in April, just two months after the Valentine's Day quake.”

Mr Meates says the Canterbury Wellbeing Index shows that there's increasing demand on Canterbury's mental health services. There has been a 21% increase in the number of 18-64 year old clients accessing mental health services from the 12 months prior to the February earthquake to the most recent 12 months of data (April 2015 – March 2016).

Mr Meates says six years on, some Cantabrians still face significant hurdles to their recovery. “For many, time does heal, but international research tells us that the emotional effects of a disaster can last for up to ten years. The focus of the recovery is now on identifying those at risk of being left behind and ensuring they get the support they need,” says Mr Meates.

Those who are finding it hard and need support can ring the Canterbury Support Line on 0800 777 846.

Other findings from the Canterbury Wellbeing Index include:
While unemployment in Canterbury continues to be low at around 3.1 percent, economic growth is beginning to slow down following the initial impetus of the rebuild. Canterbury GDP growth was amongst the lowest across New Zealand in 2015, easing back to 1.9 percent growth from 5.8 percent growth in the year to December 2014.

After a period of rapid growth, rent levels for new tenancies in greater Christchurch have decreased since early 2015, and are once again below Wellington and national levels.

Forty-three percent of the 630 people surveyed who own the dwelling they usually live in, and who have had their insurance claim resolved, were concerned about the quality of repairs or believe re-repairs are required.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Survey is a representative sample of greater Christchurch residents undertaken every six months. In 2016 there were 3,100 respondents. Read the full findings from the Canterbury Wellbeing Survey.

The Canterbury Wellbeing Index is a set of measures or indicators from over twenty local and national agencies across a diverse range of fields including health, education, housing, and employment. Find out more about the Canterbury Wellbeing Index.

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Page last updated: 19 December 2018

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